Sleeping in nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by black_fx_35, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. black_fx_35

    black_fx_35 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I have seven chicks that are 14 weeks old. They are still splitting themselves up into two nesting boxes to sleep at night. They have a few roosts in their henhouse, but they elect to sleep in the nesting boxes, which makes the boxes a mess. When will they strat sleeping on the roosts??? Thanks
  2. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Do you have a board under the nest boxes that can flip up to block them out the the boxes at night? I think that would be the best thing or they'll keep going back in where it's safe and comfy.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Are your nestboxes higher than your roosts? Chickens instinctively want to go as high as possible to roost. If your nestboxes are the highest point in the coop, that's where they'll go.

    If that's not the problem, you'll have to re-train them. Using as little light as possible, go into the coop at night after the chickens have roosted and move them to the roosts. You may have to do this several nights in a row and be consistent and persistent about it until they catch on.

    If all else fails, try blocking off the nestboxes at night and re-opening them in the morning. Given that your chickens are only 14 weeks old, I'd say it would be safe to leave the nestboxes blocked off full time for a few weeks yet.
  4. Bronnie of the Brahmas

    Bronnie of the Brahmas New Egg

    Nov 3, 2010
    Hi, my brahmas have been cuddling up together overnight in the nesting box area of their house from their first night with me when they were 10 weeks old. I wasn't really worried about discouraging it until I read that there are some disadvantages...
    1. If the nest box is soiled, the chances are the eggs will get dirty too, and possibly absorb bacteria
    2. If any eggs are left in there overnight for any reason, ( like if you forget to collect one day)they are likely to be trampled and could get broken, which in turn could lead to chickens pecking and eating their own eggs(once started, difficult to stop)
    3.apparently when chickens roost by sitting on the floor, their cloaca (vent) regularly comes into contact with droppings which is unhealthy and can lead to illness.

    This is just what I've read, I don't have much experience yet, so anybody please correct me if I've got it all wrong! And obviously I realise yours are only chicks now but they grow up quick don't they!

    Anyway I hope this helps: I found out one day quite by accident that they don't roost in the box if I put shredded paper in there instead of straw. It must be that it's not so comfy for their big fluffy behinds. So now I put straw as the bottom layer for warmth, and then a layer of shredded paper. They very rarely sit in there now.
    Hope this was of some use.
    All the best with your endeavour![​IMG]
  5. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Quote:I do the same thing. When it gets dark, I go up and put them on the roosts. I have done this with 4 different broods. It might take a couple of weeks, but they eventually "get it".

  6. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
  7. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2010
    Block of those nest boxes. They won't need them for a while anyway. My girls did the same thing. They wouldn't roost for the longest time. They'll figure it out in time. I used to go out at night and put them up on the roost, but they'd all hop down. I gave up and they figured it out on their own.
  8. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    3 RIRs and 2 BRs. Mine are 26 weeks old... 2 of them roost properly(one of each), and the other 3 will sleep in the nest boxes if I leave them unblocked. If the boxes are blocked off, they will sleep on the floor. I have gone out and put them on their roost and I am pretty sure they stay there for the night. But, the next day, they will revert to the floor or boxes(if allowed) again. I guess I need to be more diligent with putting them on their roosts for a while until they get it!

    Will they ever just figure it out on their own????

  9. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Quote:I'm sure they'll eventually figure it out as they mature. It helps if you have other hens roosting . Roosting, NOT roasting [​IMG] [​IMG]

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